Head over to the World of Lemurs. It's behind Marwell Hall and Tropical World next to our formal garden.
Size Head and body length: 34-36cm. Tail length: 41-49cm
Weight 1.5 - 1.8 kg
Gestation Just over 4 months
Life span Not well known in the wild, up to 27 years in captivity
Crowned lemurs will mostly feed on fruit, but will also eat young leaves, flowers, pollen, insects, bird eggs and even soil!
These lemurs will go in search of food (forage) during the day, and sometimes also at night. They can look for food in all levels of the forest canopy; however they are mostly seen foraging in lower levels of the forest canopy. It is thought that this is to avoid competition for food from other lemurs (such as the Sandford’s Brown lemur).
When out looking for food, crowned lemurs can split off in to small groups of 2 to 4 and keep in contact with each other by making deep grunting noises.
Just like other lemurs, the crowned lemur is only found on the island of Madagascar.
Crowned lemurs are only found in the northern tip of Madagascar and prefer to live in habitats that have semi-deciduous dry lowland forest (forests where the plants lose old leaves and grow new ones) and also mid-altitude forest.
Crowned lemurs are social animals, and often live in groups of 5-15 (with 5-6 animals in a group is more common).
In the wild the breeding season for these animals is in late May to early June, and they will usually have their young from mid September and October. Crowned lemurs can have 1-2 offspring, and they are carried around on their mother’s chest, and as they get older (and heavier!) they are carried on her back.
These lemurs are weaned from their mother’s milk at around 6-7 months old and are fully mature by 2 years old.
The exact predators of crowned lemurs have not been reported, but it is likely that large birds of prey and fossa can be threats as they are known to hunt other species of lemur.
Crowned lemurs are threatened by being captured (for food and the pet trade) and also loss of habitat. Much of this lemurs’ original range has been lost due to increased demand in land for agriculture, mining (i.e. for gold and sapphires), charcoal production and illegal logging. Crowned lemurs are also targeted by farmers, as they are known to eat crops on agricultural land.
To conserve the crowned lemur in the wild, there needs to be a further increase and improvement of protecting the areas within the northern reserves that these lemurs are found in. Also the international trade in crowned lemurs has been banned by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species). To protect these lemurs in captivity they are linked with different breeding programmes across many zoos.
Crowned lemurs are the smallest of the "true lemurs" (genus Eulemur).
Male and female crowned lemurs look different from each other. Males are a chestnut brown colour and slightly grey on their chests, whereas females have grey bodies and are light underneath. Yet both have markings along their brow line and by the sides of their eyes, these markings look like they are wearing crowns!
Newborn crowned lemurs weigh around 60g, which is about the same weight as a medium sized chicken egg!
The home range of crowned lemurs can be around 10 to 15 hectares (roughly the same as 10 to 15 rugby fields in size).
We thought it was brilliant, great support for disabled access, animals looked well looked after, clean, set in lovely countryside, good signage, lots of interesting info about the animals, lots of places to get refreshments, we'll definitely come again Tina Lee, 4th January 2017